In love with the dentist . . . NOT!

toothHad a dental appointment yesterday. Why is it that I’d rather scrub the toilet bowl, clean out a garage, or heck, even have minor surgery than go to the dentist?!?

As I was getting ready to go, I started to think about a few of my early experiences with dentists. Some of the memories hold a clue, perhaps, to my current aversion to all things dental.

When I was in grade school, there was a program that ensured that all of the students would have dental check-ups on a regular basis. Each week, we were escorted in small groups to a local clinic, until we were pronounced “all done”.


“All done” meant that you had any necessary fillings completed and also a cleaning on the final visit. We even got to miss school time – yaaaay!

Well . . . we only said “yay” once. After the first visit, nobody was too keen on returning – but return we did – many times.

It wasn’t really the dentist’s fault; he seemed to be a very sweet man. In fact he looked almost heart-broken when he announced to me, in a hushed tone, that I had a cavity . . . and that it was . . . “deep”. (Yikes!)

When I was a kid, cavities were more prevalent. I’m dating myself here, but this was a time before there was fluoride in vitamins, or fluoride toothpastes, or tooth sealants. But most importantly – this was a time before Novocain was given for fillings!

Novocain was reserved for tooth extractions only. With a filling, you were on your own. It was either a little pain for a small filling or YEOOOOOOOWCH!!! Turned out I had a few “deep” fillings – one a week – had to keep going back – thought he’d never stop drilling!

After several weeks of visits, they gave us a pink card, which meant all work was complete. Let me tell you; there was nothing more exciting, as you stepped up into the dental chair, than to see out of the corner of your eye – a nurse filling out a pink card!!! It was “the sign”. You were going to be finished that day – oh joy, OH JOY! 🙂


We also had a “family” dentist. I saw him if something cropped up in between the annual school dental visits. This family dentist was also a very nice man, with just one tiny flaw – he lied!!! As he was about to drill, he’d always say:

“Now if this starts to hurt, just raise your hand, and I’ll stop right away!”

What a lovely, soothing thing to say to a kid that was a little bit petrified. It could really help you to relax.

The problem was you could be waving your hand as if you were conducting a symphony orchestra – and he never noticed . . . or STOPPED!

So I guess that was the beginning of it all. As I grew up there were more wild and wooly experiences with assorted dentists and periodontists. I’ll admit that in recent years, they do try to keep you comfortable during procedures. But somehow, I’d still rather be cleaning the bathroom bowl!


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In love with the dentist . . . NOT! — 13 Comments

  1. I can’t even start here on my feelings about the dentist. I went to a guy in the 70’s whose motto must have been “gut and fill”. Now I have so many problems that I see false teeth in the near future.

    O, why did you make me think about this so early in the morning! LOL

  2. Hahahaha! I’m just waiting for my dentist to give up and hook me up to a lie detector machine to force true flossing confessions.

  3. I don’t mind the dentist, actually. I just can’t afford going to the dentist. I’d desperately need to.
    My husband on the other hand is terrified by dentists. He refuses to let anyone near his mouth unless he’s sedated.
    But cleaning the toilet isn’t too bad either LOL

  4. I cannot stand going to the dentist – I know it is necessary for good oral health, but for whatever reason I just can’t stand going! I go twice a year, and that’s about all I can take!

  5. I just found the best dentist in the world! She is my first female dentist and she is a lot younger than I am so I hope to be able to go to her for a long time.

  6. Yikes, your story took me back to my childhood when I would have to stop by the dentist on the way home from school. It was bad enough having to go to the dentist, but this also meant that I had to walk home alone because my friends went a different way from me on those days. I never even knew there was such a thing as novacaine….and I also remember the fluoridated water!

  7. Oh, Crystal, I HATE the dentist too!! I mean, I really, really, really hate going there…and he is REALLY a nice guy and all of the staff is just as nice and sweet as can be…but I just HATE IT!!!!! As a result, my teeth are getting to be really bad (in combination with my lupus and sjogren’s disease–this is not a good thing!!) But, I just can’t hate–as Senfield says–I am anti-dentnite!!

  8. I am the odd one out. I did not get my first cavity until I was in my middle 20’s. I am the oldest of 8 and we all have very good teeth. My mom would line up all toothbrushes with toothpaste on them 3 X’s a day. Breakfast, dinner and bedtime. Lunch time during school vacations.

    When I left home and got married. I didn’t keep up the routine and had cavities. Even now I only have 3 fillings. Even so I usually do a week of Sensodyne a wk before I go to the dentist.

  9. It sounds like you have had some pretty bad experiences with dentists over the years. I hope that you find a good and caring dentist because they can make a scary and uncomfortable experience tolerable. Good luck!

  10. Hi Family Dentist,

    We should all take your advice and make it a priority to find a good and caring dentist.

    It sounds as if your lucky patients have found one already – you! 🙂

    Thank you for your comments!

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